In the State

NAACP Taskforce On Quality Education Releases Report: Here’s the Run Down

On Wednesday, the National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People (NAACP), one of the countries oldest civil rights organizations, released their much-anticipated report on charter schools.

In it, the organization concluded pretty much what everyone thought they’d conclude — particularly on account of the AFT’s partnership with the organization —  but with a slight change. Instead of calling for a moratorium on all charter schools, their recommendation is a smidge less harsh, calling for a moratorium on for-profit charters only.

For more information: Education Post has a great overviews of the issue

To be sure, they still offered sharp criticism of charters, but it’s not quite the condemnation from last fall — which is why they report came out in the first place.

Last year, at the NAACP’s National Convention, delegates passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on all charter schools. In response to this decision, they organized a 12-member task force on quality education. This report is the results of a series of hearing that Task Force held in seven cities: New Haven, Memphis, Orlando, Los Angles, Detriot, New Orleans and New York.

Here’s Education Connecticut’s coverage of the NAACP hearing in New Haven

Here’s a break down of the key recommendation from the report:
  • More equitable funding for schools serving students of color

Here’s what the report said on equitable funding: “Education funding has been inadequate and unequal for students of color for hundreds of years. The United States has one of the most unequal school funding systems of any country in the industrialized world. Resources are highly unequal across states, across districts, and across schools, and they have declined in many communities over the last decade. In 36 states, public school funding has not yet returned to pre-2008 levels-before the great recession, and in many states, inner city schools have experienced the deepest cuts. Federal funds have also declined in real dollar terms for both Title I and for special education expenditures over the last decade.”

  • The report calls for school finance reform

Here’s what the report said finance reform: “To solve the quality education problems that are at the root of many of the issues, school finance reform is essential to ensure that resources are allocated according to student needs. States should undertake the kinds of weighted student formula reforms that Massachusetts and California have pursued, and the federal government should fully enforce the funding-equity provisions in Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).”

  • NAACP wants to see greater investment in low-performing schools

Here’s what the report says on investing in low-performing schools: “Students learn in safe, supportive, and challenging learning environments under the tutelage of wellprepared, caring adults. Participants in every hearing stressed the importance of the type of classroom investments that have consistently been shown to raise student achievement. To ensure that all students receive a high-quality education, federal, state, and local policies need to sufficiently invest in: (1) incentives that attract and retain fully qualified educators, (2) improvements in instructional quality that include creating challenging and inclusive learning environments; and (3) wraparound services for young people, including early childhood education, health and mental health services, extended learning time, and social supports.”

  • The report recommends districts to be the sole authorizers of charter schools 

Here’s what the report had to say on charter authorizers: “One way that states and districts can maintain accountability for charter schools is through their regulation of the organizations that authorize charter schools. States with the fewest authorizers have been found to have the strongest charter school outcomes. To do this, states should allow only districts to serve as authorizers, empower those districts to reject applications that do not meet standards and establish policies for serious and consistent oversight. “

  • The elimination of for-profit charter schools 

This was their harshest stance. Here’s what the NAACP had to say about for-profit charters: “No federal, state, or local taxpayer dollars should be used to fund for-profit charter schools, nor should public funding be sent from nonprofit charters to for-profit charter management companies. The widespread findings of misconduct and poor student performance in for-profit charter schools demand the elimination of these schools. Moreover, allowing for-profit entities to operate schools creates an inherent conflict of interest.”

In case you like to check out the Wednesday’s announcement from the national convention, Minnesota based-blogger Chris Stewart shared it on his twitter feed:

Connecticut’s Response To The Report?

People are still processing the report, but so far, two organizations have already released their takes. I’ll update this post once more responses come out, but for now, here’s what ConnCAN and the Northeast Charter School Network had to say — both are pro-charter school organizations, who advocate for education reform.

As you’d expect, both didn’t agree with the reporter’s stance on charters — for example, the NAACP supporting the elimination of flexible  — but there was some agreement. ConnCAN, in particular, was agreed with the NAACP when it comes to education funding.

Here’s what Northeast Charter Schools Network CEO Janeene Freeman had to say

“We don’t necessarily agree with all of the NAACP’s findings, but it doesn’t mean we stop working. We will continue to work in New York and Connecticut so that families have the ability to choose a high-quality charter school, and that all children have access to a great public education. Our families, our children and our future depend on it.”

ConnCAN’s executive director, Jennifer Alexander had to say:

“We agree with the NAACP’s call for school finance reform to ensure that all public school students receive equal and adequate funding, and we stand by our position that Connecticut’s non-profit charter schools are part of the solution to providing every child the education they need and deserve. We are disappointed that this report recommends limiting the flexibility and innovation of charter schools — recommendations that, if adopted, would thwart success.”

 

To view the full report, I’ve linked it below:

NAACP Task Force Final Report by MeganDeSombre on Scribd

What do you think?

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